In the northern part of the UAE is a village called Al Jeer, where the Hajar mountain range joins the rocky shoreline of the Arabian Gulf.

I went to this village for the first time in 1991 and returned a few times until the year 2000.

At that time, it was a sleepy village with a few houses spread over the entire length and breadth of the valley.

Other than a few houses along the road to the nearby border with Oman's Musandam peninsula, most typical hill-dwelling people's shelters were along the foot of the hills and some on elevated places, away from the dried-up wadi beds. Except for the border road, all the other paths were mere tracks strewn with boulders of hundreds of shapes and sizes.

In those times, we could only see local birds and no exotic ones; prominent were the house crows and Indian rollers.

Now the village along the road has become a bustling marketplace. Buildings now stand where houses used to be. A couple of streets have been built connecting most of the tiny villages to the centre of the Al Jeer market.

A wide canal was also built to allow water to run down to the Arabian Gulf in case there is a flash flood.

Changes in human habitation pattern have invited some exotic birds like the common mynahs and bulbuls.